Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Worship Wednesdays - Pentecost Playlist

This Sunday, churches around the world will recognize Pentecost. As recorded in Acts 2:1-13, Pentecost is a vibrant celebration marking the arrival of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church. Tongues of fires, the rushing wind, and speaking in various languages give us a variety of themes and images for creative worship planning. Some churches will invite their congregations to wear red - the liturgical colour of the day. Others will have a cake to celebrate the birthday of the Church.

There are lots of wonderful songs to celebrate Pentecost. 
Here are a few of our favourites:

Spirit of the Living God

This is the Sunday to pull out all your favourite Holy Spirit songs! We love this one for its melodic simplicity and beautiful lyrics. It crosses denominations, and can be performed in pretty much any musical style. We will often sing two verses congregationally, and insert an instrumental verse or two in the middle, either for reflection or to underscore spoken prayer.

Shout To The North

We love singing this song! The images of fire, Church unity, and singing to the world make it a great fit for Pentecost. The Celtic feel of this song makes it a great crossover - perfect for bands, but a simple enough melody to make it accessible to choirs and more traditional congregations.

They'll Know We Are Christians

This is one of our favourite songs to celebrate Christian unity, and particularly for ending worship. We love sending people from Church into the World with the reminder that people will recognize us as followers of Christ by the way we love. Some folks dismiss this contemporary classic as being "too dour" with its minor melody, but use those emotive chords to your advantage to create an arrangement that's soulful and moving.

Holy Spirit, Living Breath of God

We haven't performed this song, but I found it in writing this blog. I'm such a huge fan of Keith and Kristyn Getty - soaring melodies, scriptural and liturgical lyrics, and songs that can adapt to fit any church's musical tradition.

Sweet, Sweet Spirit

This is a classic song, performed so beautifully in this clip by J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet. I love this video - in the middle of his concert, the great Elvis Presley asks his audience to listen, not to him, but to the amazing acapella harmonies of this spiritual song.

What songs will you be singing this Pentecost?
Share your selections in the Comments section...

Worship Wednesdays is a weekly series to encourage and equip worship leaders and songwriters. Bookmark this page & visit us every Wednesday!

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